It’s a reasonable question. After all, in the past allergies seemed so much less common.
In my last article, we talked about why our grandparents’ generation seemed to have so fewer allergies in their lives, but that doesn’t entirely answer the question of why we seem to be so allergy-prone. Gluten allergy, pollen allergy, mold allergy, spring allergies…the list goes on and on!
So here are some of the most common reasons why we modern humans have so many environmental and food allergies.
Imbalanced Immune System
Your immune system is your body’s natural defense mechanism. Simply put, its job is to pay attention to what’s inside your body, detect any foreign invaders, and stop them before they can cause any damage.
Your immune system requires a delicate balance in order to maintain itself, though, and when it’s out of balance it can often trigger environmental or food allergies or food allergy-like symptoms.
As a holistic nutritionist, I’m obviously concerned with nutrition. It’s true malnutrition can lead to all sorts of health issues. But it can lead to environmental and food allergy symptoms too!
Your body needs the proper nutrients in order to operate properly. And if your diet lacks certain nutrients, it won’t be able to function as well. If you lack calcium, for example, you’ll have a hard time keeping your teeth and bones healthy.
Nutrition deficiencies can also lead to an imbalance in your immune system or in other systems in your body, which can make you more sensitive to allergens which you may otherwise have been able to shrug off.
Your digestive system makes up a large portion of your body. Your stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and more are all connected to this system, and are all important elements in your health.
When this system is out of whack, though, it can cause problems with your immune system. And, of course, this can trigger environmental and food allergy symptoms.
When your digestive system is out of whack, in more extreme cases it can lead to leaky gut syndrome. This happens when your body is unable to properly digest food, which leads to larger pieces of food being drawn through the barrier in your digestive wall.
The resulting gap allows undigested food particles and other problematic elements into your bloodstream where they don’t belong. This triggers your immune system to react to these and see them as foreign invaders. This can in turn create allergy symptoms.
>Too Much Sugar!
When you eat too much of certain foods, like grains and sugars, it can cause what’s called the “full bucket effect”.
The full bucket effect, also called cell saturation, happens when there’s too much of a certain element in your system. Your cells can only use so much of it, and once their bucket is full, so to speak, they start rejecting it. This can cause issues such as, you guessed it, environmental and food allergy symptoms.
The world is a dirtier place than it was a hundred years ago. Our individual homes may be cleaner, but the world around us is becoming increasingly contaminated with pollutants and chemicals.
And while our bodies have a natural detoxification system, it often has trouble keeping up with the onslaught of toxicity in our modern world. This can end up overloading the parts of our body designed to act as a barrier to allergens: our skin, intestines, and respiratory tract. This overload weakens their barrier function and can lead to sensitization.
>Immune System Health
As you can see, a lot revolves around your immune system. Once the immune system becomes overwhelmed and confused about what is and isn’t an invader, a “reset” needs to take place to orient it to properly react to harmful and safe substances.